Culture

One Controversial Art Exhibit — And Its Cancellation — Sends an Unsettling Message About Race

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On its fall calendar, London’s Barbican performing arts center had slated a controversial production called “Exhibit B – The Human Zoo.” The performance featured black actors shackled, bound and gagged, chained and caged in 12 tableaux vivants all to make a point about the history of colonial powers in Africa. The performance’s ambition was to reflect upon, raise awareness about and ultimately skewer the racist model villages (or human ... Read More »

MONA director David Walsh started museum out of guilt for making millions as professional gambler

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MONA founder David Walsh says guilt over making millions of dollars as a professional gambler was one of the driving forces behind his decision to set up the internationally famous Hobart gallery. Mr Walsh’s Museum of Old and New Art is now a major tourist drawcard on the Hobart waterfront, drawing visitors from all over the world. But the gambler-turned-art ... Read More »

A Warning in China: Beware the ‘Blue Fatty’ Cat

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As Hong Kongers rally for the right to choose their own chief executive over Beijing’s pick, tens of thousands of mainland Chinese are participating in a one person, one vote online opinion poll that asks whether China should boycott a blue Japanese cat. Nothing seems more harmless than the plump-faced Japanese cartoon robot cat, Doraemon, who does not even have claws. ... Read More »

Will Afghanistan Rebuild the Buddhas of Bamiyan?

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There is a movement to rebuild the Buddhas of Bamiyan, destroyed by the Taliban in 2001, in order to promote tourism in Afghanistan, reports Roads and Kingdoms. One local man, Mohammad Reza Ibrahim, is leading the efforts to entice foreigners back, and show them that his country has much to offer in areas removed from conflict. “Bamiyan has a great potential for tourism,” ... Read More »

Ai Weiwei explores human rights and freedom of expression in exhibition at Alcatraz

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Featuring seven new sculpture, sound, and mixed-media works by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz explores human rights and freedom of expression in the context of this iconic historic site. Installed across four locations on Alcatraz and on view from September 27, 2014, through April 26, 2015, the exhibition is inspired by the island’s ... Read More »

The wrong path to heaven

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Our leaders may be slow in fulfilling this columnist’s prophesies but they certainly try hard. Back in 2008, I suggested that the (Islamic) headscarf must be allowed not only in universities, but also in kindergarten. My 2008 prophecy for little girls in veils in kindergarten was almost fulfilled when a 2012 primary education bill allowed families to send their fourth ... Read More »

Artists see red over cadmium ban

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A Europe-wide restriction on the use of the chemical pigment is under consideration A Europe-wide ban of cadmium pigments in acrylic, oil and watercolour paints is under consideration that, if successful, could be enforced within two years. The EU is weighing a restriction on the chemical following pressure from Sweden, which argues that artists pollute the food chain when they rinse their ... Read More »

Russian Church Leader Deems Contemporary Art “Filth and Stupidity”

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The leader of Russia’s Orthodox church, Patriarch Kirill I, has some rather, uh, unorthodox views about the state of contemporary art. As reported by the Moscow Times (via RIA Novosti), Kirill’s remarks at an Orthodox festival on Wednesday included a scathing critique of the contemporary arts, which he believes “show some horrors, some nonsense, idiocy.” Kirill apparently doesn’t want to be challenged by culture, ... Read More »